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SMEs asked to focus on branding to achieve better growth April 07, 2016
Meeting at ICCI
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with Small & Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) organized a training program on “Power of Branding for SMEs”. Tahir Chaudhry, Management Consultant gave a detailed presentation to the SMEs on the importance of branding for achieving better growth. 
It was stressed that SMEs were playing a key role in the economic development of Pakistan as they constituted about 98% of the total 3.2 million business entities, employed 78% of non-agricultural labor force, contributed 40% to the GDP and promoted 30% of manufactured sector exports of the country, therefore, it was high time that they should focus on developing strong brands to compete more effectively in the highly competitive business environment. This way, they will get better penetration in the local and international markets. 
It was highlighted that world’s top 250 brands amounted to over US$ 2 trillion while the world’s most valuable brand Coca-Cola had a brand value of over US$ 43 billion. SMEs were apprised that they could achieve many benefits by building brands as good brands tended to add more value to the products, strengthened employees’ loyalty, attracted more clients, kept current relationships strong, built confidence, created long-term positive relationship with the customers and enabled organizations to achieve sustainable growth. 
Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his message said that our SMEs were producing many products including sports items, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, textile products, engineering goods, leather products, IT & IT enabled products and food products. However, due to lack of branding, many SMEs were not able to get real value of their products in international market while third parties by adding their own labels to our products were achieving better results. 
He stressed that SMEDA should facilitate and support SMEs in setting up benchmarks to build brands that could make their mark in the international market. He said that government should provide financial support to SMEs in building strong brands as lack of required capital was a major issues for SMEs in realizing these goals. He said more such training programs should be organized for small and medium enterprises throughout the country that would help SMEs to focus on branding of their products. 

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